Sorry for the neglect of art and content the last few months. Trying to keep it up again! Have here a long overdue finally finished English version of that Czech comic I was working on.
And at last, the actual trailer! Vimeo has an upload limit every week, so I guess you have to wait a little longer to see my Circus animation… Be patient, my friends.
I feel bad that I didn’t update this blog more the last weeks, but I guess school work has priority over writing about it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
After my experiments on brown paper I suddenly got the idea that I also can make the drawing on white, thicker and more sturdy paper, scan them, and print them on the brown paper. After that I could go add highlights. That way I don’t have to deal with the brown paper’s inability to take much water and still have it’s wonderful brown color. Yay!
So last week I was practically drawing every hour I was awake. In retrospect I made it also quite some work for myself as I sketched the pages firstly on my laptop in Photoshop, printed them and traced them on A3 paper before drawing it out like you see in the picture.
So the full progress for page 3 was, for example, like this:
That’s right, the comic needed to be in Czech. Well, even though I got a 92% score for my Czech language test, translating poetic English into Czech is still out of my league, haha! So credits for the wonderful translation go to Vojta Koči!
The comic project is officially finished now, the deadline for sending the files for printing was today. But it’s also not officially finished yet, as our klausura assignment is to create a trailer or teaser of max. 30 seconds for our comic. So back to work!
Some more comic progress! The first page was a first test but the teacher didn’t really like it, it lacked contrast and drawing it with fineliner would make it to soft and delicate for what’s basically a horror story. So I went on an experimented with water-soluble pencil on wet paper – I got nice black expressive lines but the paper couldn’t take water very well… And I really wanted to use this paper because I like the color and when I draw on it with black and white it reminds me of old photographs and gravures.. And it’s cheap. I did another test where I drew the panels first and then went over it with water but it didn’t feel right yet..
Aaaaand again posted on my wrong blog. Sorry!
Showing some progress of my Ligeia comic! These are the earliest sketches I made. I really liked the effect of using black and white on this grey paper, so I wanted to use that for the final comic as well. After doing sketches and studies I storyboarded the whole story…
… and after that, draft layouts! The comic spans over seven pages now, these are the first three. For next week I’ll have to finish one page, see how that goes!
I wanted to upload this a few days earlier, but Tumblr had issues. o.0
After finishing all the drawing (and writing), there was the fun-but-tedious task of arranging them neatly in a booklet! I’m saying fun-but-tedious as I went through many versions and tried out a lot of different things to come up with the final arrangement. I wanted to play around with how the booklet will be read and how I could impose extra meaning in how the panel and text is positioned.
After printing the first version of the booklet, I used a staples for fastening. Quick and cheap. Originally I was thinking about binding it by hand with linen, but that would just take me far too much time. Still fun, though. I also opted for thicker paper, but the staple had had already a hard time getting through the sketch paper (20 pages!), it would never make it through anything ticker. Oh well. ^^
Getting the staples exactly in the middle isn’t very easy either. ^^;
After printing, there were two things that I wasn’t really happy about: all the drawings appeared a little pixel-y and the time transition wasn’t really clear.
I fixed the slightly blurry drawings by vectorizing ALL the drawings and text, so it would consist of shapes instead of pixels, which makes the printer handle the drawings just like typed text, basically, and super sharp printed. Luckily there are tools for that online, I used www.autotracer.org/. If I had to do it by hand I would still be working on it XD The drawback was that the drawings would lose detail, especially in the really fine hatchings. But I think it is still better than that the drawings were appearing as being low resolution, because they were clearly not. 🙁
It is much easier to see in real life than on a photograph, but the top image is after I vectorized the drawing, the one at the bottom is the original pixel-y scanned drawing. You can also see the slight loss of detail.
For the time transition I wanted to use an extra colour, so it would get some extra punch to make it more clear. The whole booklet is actually rather vague, you wouldn’t really get it if one’s not familiar with Ocarina of Time. But I liked it that way, it had to spark that curiosity.
I chose red for dramatic effect. 🙂 I had thought of using a second colour before, I might wanted to RISO print the booklet, a RISO printer can only print max. two colors at once. When I found out that the booklet was going to be 40 pages I quickly dismissed the idea of RISO’ing this as it would be far to much work.
The first test with some red in it: I just painted with ecoline (ink) over the first test print I did to see what worked.
Second test print I did to test the vector drawings and new placement of text and image.
Final spread! I painted the red shapes on a separate paper with ecoline and scanned them in. Tricky, because I kind of had to guess to get the right shape! I wish ecoline worked on transparent paper too…
I also used red for other parts of the story, as you have seen already: 😀
All in all, I improved my inking skills, especially hatching, so mission accomplished! It’s even so bad that I’m sure I could do many of the earlier panels better. Still, I’m too lazy to draw them again, I’d rather move on to a new project. It’s been to long for this one, more than a year even! But I’m very happy that I committed myself to do this and I’m really happy with the end result!
When I finished Ocarina of Time I immediately started working on it, which was in June 2015. I wanted to get all the drawing done for September, but I only managed to finish the couplet, which caused me to drag on the refrain in-between school assignments until January or so. I’m almost ashamed to admit it took me almost two years to finish it, as it is in no way a really big project of some sort… I just wanted it to be perfect, haha.
I started by drawing a storyboard. I already had a lot of ideas what to show at which words, so I drew what I thought could work on separate papers and played around until I had the best combination story-wise.
Pretty messy, as you can see. This won’t land me a position as Pixar’s lead storyboard artist, haha! 😀
As soon as I got the storyboard ready, I started to drawing out the panels. I wanted to do this with black fineliners to practice my inking skills. I’m saying panels instead of illustrations because I saw this thing as a comic, later to be published in a booklet, rather than just sitting on the internet. The lyrics would be under or next to the panels.
The text needed to be hand drawn, too. I didn’t want to create a real font, that would be too much hassle. People work on fonts for months, if not years to create something great. I just wanted some hand drawn looking text. And it would be cool if it resembles Hylian writing, so I tried blocky shapes with a lot vertical and horizontal lines. The first sketches were a bit too blocky, as they started to look like early computer fonts. So I put in more curves. And then, the tedious act of writing all the text by hand. You bet I know the lyrics now by heart! lol
In retrospect creating a font wouldn’t be hassle at all: I discovered www.myscriptfont.com that quickly converts your handwriting into a fully usable font. Oh well. I might create a font anyway.
Stay tuned for part two! 😉
Only one week left of these black and white panels, and then it’s done already! I didn’t notice until a few days ago that November is actually Zelda Month (for YouTuber PeanutButterGamer at least), a perfect coincidence! If I noticed before I would have planned this comic so that it would also start November 1st, but with Inktober I just always forget about November being Zelda Month. Oh well.
Anyway, only one week left, today we’re gonna start with the refrain of Vida La Vida. I thought it would be nice if I share my motivation for this project, along with some process which I will post in the following days. 🙂
I got the idea for this when I had been playing Ocarina of Time for a few months or so. I suddenly realized that the lyrics of Coldplay’s Vida la Vida fitted Ganondorf’s situation very well.
If you’re not familiar with the lyrics, the couplets go like this:
I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemies eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
Now the old king is dead, long live the king
At that point I was obsessed enough to hear storyline clues and character motivations in every song, but this one fitted perfectly if you asked me. ^^ For me, the lyrics tell Ganon’s part of the story of Ocarina of Time. This was December 2014 if I remember correctly. I forbade myself to start working with this idea before I finished the game, so I would know exactly what happened to Ganon, what is shown and what is implied, what is told and what is not told.
When I finally finished the game (June 2015), I was fascinated how it all came together in the end. And also how Ocarina of Time as a game fits as a keystone into the whole timeline. It might not be the greatest of stories but I loved it and I still do. What hit me when I heard Vida la Vida was how tragic Ganondorf’s obsession with power actually is.
Even though I haven’t grown up to this game (I was three when it came out), it feels special to me. Heck, I didn’t even know it existed before 2011 till the 3DS version came out! I’ve played the original version from 1998, and of course are the graphics horribly outdated, it still has a very nostalgic feeling to me. I would even say it has some timeless appeal. The graphics might be dated, the polygons might be countable, the music might sound tinny, and I’m probably biased as hell, but no, it’s true this game is something special. And I just had to express that. 🙂